Rigidoporus ulmarius and the elder (Sambucus nigra)

Granted, an elder isn’t always a true ‘tree’, though it can and indeed will become one if allowed to. Unfortunately, as their presence is oft seen as a sign of a lack of management of a site (such as in unused brownfield sites), they are prone to being cleared when sites are re-designed. Of course, they can also be found developing in scrub (perhaps on old plotlands and within corners of allotment gardens), woodland edges and within established hedge lines – such old hedges may indeed be the last vestige of the elder in more urbanised and intensely-managed agricultural landscapes. Specimens within these hedges can therefore – by virtue of their age and size – sport some surprising fungal finds, as we can see below!

rigidoporus-ulmarius-sambucus-nigra-1
Another boring hedgerow elder….!
rigidoporus-ulmarius-sambucus-nigra-2
Wrong! Spot the fungal bracket. It is…
rigidoporus-ulmarius-sambucus-nigra-3
…the brown-rotter Rigidoporus ulmarius (the ‘giant elm bracket’). This is an association that does occur every so often, though is restricted to larger elders where there is enough substrate to enable the fungus to colonise and produce a sporophore.
rigidoporus-ulmarius-sambucus-nigra-4
And what a fine example it is! The characteristic and arguably unmistakeable algal greening atop and the orange-pink lip that details the most recent growth.
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And for good measure a context reveals the just off-white trama and cinnamon-coloured tube layer.
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Rigidoporus ulmarius and the elder (Sambucus nigra)

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